donderdag 20 augustus 2015

A Poem by Rabbi Kook: For Third of Elul, His 80th Yahrzeit

Memorial to the First Chief Rabbi of Israel, founder of Religious Zionism

August 18, 2015 - gimmel Elul, marks the 80th yahrzeit of Rabbi (Rav) Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook zt"l, the first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel, often called Hare'ayah Kook, an acronym of his name.

Rav Kook was a leader who stood up to the British Parliament in support of the Balfour Declaration when he found himself stranded there at the outbreak of WWI, lived in Jaffa (Yaffo) which was the seat of secular Zionism so as to be the voice of Torah there and only later moved to Jerusalem at the request of its noted rabbis where he established and headed the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva and agreed reluctantly to become Chief Rabbi of the Holy City..

Rabbi Kook was an outstanding Torah luminary and decisor, but at the same time a prolific poet, mystic, philosopher and intrepid leader, founder of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel which he saw as the spiritual leadership of the state-to-be. He is considered the founder of Religious Zionism.

Following is a poem of Rav Kook entitled "Im Tirzeh Ben Adam" with an English translation and a UTube video featuring a beautiful musical interpretation of this poem in Hebrew

אם תרצה בן אדם
הסתכל באור השכינה
התבונן בפלאי היצירה
בחיי האלוקות שלהם

דע את המציאות
שאתה חי בה
דע את עצמך
ואת עולמך
עלה למעלה עלה
כי כוח עז לך
יש לך כנפי רוח
כנפי נשרים אבירים
אל תכחש בם
פן יכחשו לך
דרוש אותם
ויימצאו לך מיד
- הרב קוק
"אורות הקודש"

If you desire to, human being, look at the light of God’s Presence
Gaze at the wonders of creation, at their Divine life.
Know the reality in which you live.
Know yourself and your world.

Rise up.
Rise up, for you have the strength to do so.
You have wings of the spirit, wings of powerful eagles.
Do not deny them, or they will deny you.
Seek them, and you will find them in a flash.

Orot Hakodesh I, pp. 83-84